Digital Accessibility Made Accessible

Domino’s, Pornhub, Amazon, Nordstrom, and Warby Parker. These are a few of our favorite brands… that have been sued for noncompliance with web accessibility standards.

Digital accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application, or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities

In the U.S. nearly one in four people has a disability, so it’s no surprise that there has been an increasing effort to make the internet more accessible. In 2018 alone, there were 2,285 lawsuits that were brought forth under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).Nervous now? Us, too? However, not all businesses are required to comply with the ADA. Under Title I of the ADA, any business with at least 15 full-time employees that operates for 20 or more weeks every year is covered by the law. Under Title III Businesses that fall into the category of “public accommodation,” such as hotels, bands, an public transportation are also required to comply.

If you need to or would like to be more compliant, here are a few specific items to consider:

  • Closed Captions – Any audio content, including videos or podcasts, must include captions

  • Screen Reader Compliance – Screen readers are software applications that convert text displayed on a computer screen into synthesized speech. To become compliant, provide coded descriptive text alternatives for non-text content and the specific language of a page or a specific word should be indicated so the correct pronunciation can be programmatically determined.

  • Easy to Read Text – Text blocks with narrow widths are easier for all people to read, especially those with reading or vision impairments. Because of this, the WCAG recommends keeping a line of text’s character count below 80 characters.

Want a deeper understanding of compliance on your site?

While there are automated plugins and chrome extensions available that can help you, having an expert conduct an audit of your site would be the best approach. Be aware, compliance is not a one time achievement, it will be an ongoing effort to maintain accessibility standards. No one wants to deal with a lawsuit that could have been easily avoided, especially when the work will ultimately make the internet a better place for everyone to shop, peruse, stay in touch, or otherwise enjoy.

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